Flora in the Pacific Northwest
Clark County is a beautiful place to live, and we are fortunate to have many varieties of habitats for both living and non-living things. Living organisms are called biotic and non-living things are abiotic. Biotic and abiotic work together to create unique ecosystems. Within those ecosystems are flora (plants) and fauna (animals). A healthy ecosystem needs each item in balance – even decaying plants and animals.
Washington State has over 2,300 native plant species as well as thousands of mosses, lichens, and fungi.
What is flora?
Flora is the name given to the plant life that grows in a certain area. It generally refers to the native plant life that is present, but can include species that have been introduced as well.
Along with the sun, the flora helps in maintaining the delicate ecological balance we find on Earth. It gives off oxygen, which is taken in by the fauna. In turn, the fauna releases carbon dioxide that the flora needs to live. One cannot live without the other, and we, as humans, cannot live without either.
Whether you live in Clark County, somewhere else in Washington state, or anywhere on the planet, there are stunning plants and animals to capture your imagination. Learning about these organisms and their role in the ecosystem might help you understand your place here, too.
The word ‘flora’ comes from the Latin name ‘Flora,’ who was believed to be the princess of flowers. It describes all the plants that may be present in a particular region and is sometime used for fungi and bacteria as well.
Plants are producers in a biotic system – providing oxygen, medicine, and food. Animals, humans, and some insects are consumers and eat/breathe the producer’s contributions. Producers and consumers eventually become food for decomposers like fungi, worms, some insects, and bacteria. When producers and consumers decompose, they create an organic material called humus. This provides nutrients for the soil, insects, and mushrooms. As a matter of fact, earth worms mix humas into the soil like little farmers plowing their fields. The movement of the earth worm causes the soil to crumble, mixing in the humus and adding oxygen to the soil.
How to Support Healthy Ecosystems in Clark County, Washington
Clark Public Utilities is dedicated to enhancing the environment in our county through a variety of activities. We strive to improve habitat by removing invasive plant species to help native plants thrive. Learn more about native plants and invasive plants.
Join Eradication Nation
Eradication Nation, part of our StreamTeam Watershed Restoration program, works with volunteers to remove invasive plants from riparian and wetland areas. Targets include garlic mustard, Japanese knotweed, and reed canary grass. Learn More!